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By Thuthukani Ndlovu

I wish I could find
all the tears that I held back
at my father’s funeral;
because today I realised that
those tears were meant to quench my soul’s thirst.
Instead, I held them back
behind my naked eyes
for so long that if you saw
my frequently dehydrated soul,
you would think I was cursed.

I know I’m not cursed,
but I wish that
my 14 year old self knew that.
‘Real men don’t cry’
was a myth that polluted my brain.
Anyway, my father was a busy man.
I seem to be very busy,
but now I ask myself;
was I only inspired by his actions,
or have I been so busy in order to numb the pain?

The pain that my soul feels
every time it becomes thirsty
can only be healed
by my creator,
the Author of Time.
Maybe this is why
I still can’t find
the tears I held back at my father’s funeral.
So, my soul still thirsts
even when I say that I’m fine.

If I found
the tears that I’ve been looking for
would it be too late
because of the man
that I’ve already become?
And what if these tears
eventually find me;
would they pour like gentle rain
in a clear sky or bring the darkest clouds
and drown my soul like an eclipsed fatherless sun?